The Armistice in Cambridge event committee are pleased to announce an exciting commemorative project, a replica World War One trench system.
The funding has now been approved for this project and this replica trench will be constructed within the grounds at the Mighty River Domain, Lake Karapiro, just outside of Cambridge. It therefore, will become a centrepiece for the annual Armistice in Cambridge event. It is a site in which First World War battle re-enactments can be staged to help educate the public about what that terrible war was really like. This will add an exciting reality to the already thrilling historical recreations that are staged by the living history re-enactors each year at the event.
Although the trench is designed to reflect the trench warfare endured by the New Zealand soldiers at Gallipoli and on the Western Front from 1915 to 1918, we also envisage other ‘occupiers’ during various battle re-enactments, from World War One German soldiers holding the trench and the ANZAC’s or Allies attacking them; through to other historical periods. After all, trench warfare was also a feature in other conflicts that we remember and mark in this event, so we imagine it could depict a British Army redoubt or perhaps a Maori Pa for New Zealand Wars scenarios; or a World War Two position in the western desert, Italy or Europe; and of course a defensive position in other more modern conflicts such as the Korean War and the Vietnam War.
Outside of the Armistice in Cambridge commemorative weekend every November, it is planned for the ANZAC Sector trench replica to also be used for educational purposes, with school groups and other parties visiting for guided tours and historical lectures through the year, and perhaps some Open Days with WW1 re-enactments could be staged through a few other days of the annual calendar too.
We hope to have the ANZAC Sector constructed and ready for use by Armistice in Cambridge in November 2014, ready to mark the Centenary of the First World War. It will become an important focus for the next four years after that, through until November 2018, the centenary of the end of WWI.